The Latest Scrap Car Laws - What Rules Must You Follow When You Scrap Your Car?

Posted on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 by CarTakeBack

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It's no use finding a fantastic price for scrapping your car and then running into legal problems for not following the government legislation.

It's essential you conform to the law around scrapping your car before you do so. Legislation varies across Australian states, therefore it's also important to know how to cancel your registration in your state.

We've put together this handy guide on what you need to know before you scrap a car.

What do I need to know about scrapping my car?

You can't drive a car deemed as 'scrap'

If you are recycling and scrapping your car because it is a 'statutory write-off', you can no longer drive it on the roads. Arrange for the scrap service provider to collect the car from you at a specific time.

Ensure you have your vehicle registration information

Legally, car scrapping companies cannot trade vehicles that are unidentified. This is to help combat car theft trade.

You can only scrap a car if you have the right to dispose of it. Gather your identification to prove vehicle ownership before scrapping your car.

Don't leave your scrap at home

Scrap vehicles can sometimes be hazardous or contain toxic substances. When left, these can leak and cause environmental damage and harm in communities and homes - endangering animals and potentially children. Make sure your scrap car is picked up by a registered car scrapping business so it can be correctly disposed of and recycled. This may not be law but removes a possible environmental threat.

Inform the authorities that you no longer own your car

Once your car is scrapped and recycled, you are no longer the owner. The Australian government law requires you to cancel your registration.

The rules vary per state.

Read on or jump to your state:

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

In ACT to cancel your car registration, you must:

  • Fill out an 'Application to cancel vehicle registration' form, signed by the registered operator(s)
  • Provide proof of identity documentation for the registered operator(s)
  • Provide a statement about the registration label for vehicles over 4,500kg. (there is a declaration on the application form if this is not possible)
  • Provide the number plates or a receipt for the surrender of number plates from an interstate authority
  • Provide a statutory declaration if the plates have been lost, stolen or destroyed and cannot be surrendered
  • Show (if available) the registration certificate
  • Complete an 'authority to act as an agent' form with the agent's proof of identity documentation (where applicable).

Visit the ACT government site for more information and forms

New South Wales (NSW)

In NSW, to cancel your car registration, you must go in person to a service or registry centre and take with you:

  • Your proof of identity
  • The vehicle's 'Certificate of Registration'
  • A filled out, signed 'number plates and/or cancellation of registration' form
  • The number plates (if you still have them). It is illegal to keep number plates if you have cancelled your vehicle's registration. However, you can keep them if you put them in reserve at the service or registry centre.
  • Payment for the costs associated with cancelling

Visit the NSW government site form more information and forms

Northern Territory (NT)

In Northern Territory, when a vehicle is disposed of (or sold), you must:

  • Within 14 days after the disposal, lodge a completed 'Notice of Disposal' with the Motor Vehicle Registry. It should contain the following information:
    • Full name and address of the buyer which can be a Body Corporate
    • Their date of birth (but not required for a Body Corporate)
    • The date of vehicle disposal or sale
    • The price that was paid for the vehicle
    • A signature of both the buyer/agent on behalf of Body Corporate) and the seller
    • Vehicle registration number
  • You should also surrender your plates to the Motor Vehicle Registration.

Visit the NT government site for more information

Queensland (QLD)

In Queensland, to cancel your car registration, you must complete a 'vehicle/recreational ship cancellation of registration application' form. It should be taken, along with your number plates, to a transport and motoring customer service centre.

Alternatively, you can post in your completed cancellation form and number plates or receipt.

Visit the Queensland Government site for more information and the address and forms

South Australia (SA)

In South Australia, to cancel your car registration, you must complete an 'application to cancel registration' form and surrender the vehicle number plates. You can lodge the application at a Service SA customer service centre.

Visit the South Australia government website for more information and the form

Tasmania (TAS)

In Tasmania, you should fill out an Application for Transfer / Notice of Disposal form and take it to a Service Tasmania shop within 7 days.

You can also fill out a Registered Wrecker form but this is not mandatory.

You must also return your registration plates to the Motor Vehicle Registration.

Visit the Tasmania government website for more information

Victoria (VIC)

In Victoria, if your car vehicle registration has not been renewed by 3 months after the expiry date, car registration will be cancelled automatically. (It's definitely still best to check this).

If not, you must provide the following:

  • The registered vehicle operator's name and address
  • The vehicle operator's driver licence number or the vehicle serial number
  • The vehicle registration number plate
  • The model and type of vehicle
  • The date of the accident, if the cancellation is due to the vehicle being written off.

This can be given by post, phone or going in person to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre.

Your number plates must be surrendered to a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. Or if you wish to keep them, follow the information here.

Visit the Victoria government site for more information

Western Australia (WA)

In Western Australia, to cancel your car registration, you simply need to surrender your number plates.

Visit the Western Australia government site for more information


Make sure you receive proof of destruction

Once your car has been scrapped and recycled, ensure you get relevant paperwork to show that your vehicle has been properly disposed of.

Can I get a refund for my unused registration?

When you cancel your vehicle registration, check if you are able to get a refund for any unused part of it.

Finally, always remember to check your registration document for details and follow any instructions on there too. It's worth noting that government rules can sometimes change, so check your state's website for up to date information about cancelling your registration.

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